It’s surprising how much time can be spent on something as mundane as scheduling appointments. Many workplaces have someone employed full time just to keep on top of staff timetables. This organisational time-sink got developers thinking: what if there was an easier way?
What type of business can benefit from a scheduling service?
This is where online scheduling services come in, and Appointlet is one such service. Whether you run a large health clinic, or a small consulting startup, a scheduling service can be of immense help in keeping your calendar organised and up to date with minimal time spent on the process.
We use it ourselves to offer free 30 minutes consulting calls on our sister website EmailToolTester.com. It can be easily added to any website builder and there is also a plugin for WordPress.
The basic idea behind a scheduling service is that it acts as an online PA, accessing your calendar and allowing customers to book appointments for specific services, eliminating double-bookings.
Scheduling services can also send customers automated reminders and take care of payment collection (via Stripe and PayPal), once again freeing up time for you and your business. Customers are then able to book appointments easily via an embedded appointment form on your site, or via a link in, for example, an email campaign.
Setting up a ‘Service’ with Appointlet: you can set up a free trial account with Appointlet with very little hassle. Once you’ve signed up for a free, 30-day trial period (no payment details required) you can set up your first service.
Setting up Appointlet – A step-by-step guide.
When you sign up for a new Appointlet account, there is also an easy to follow onboarding process. In this step-by-step guide we outline the manual process of setting up a scheduling service for you:
- Step 1: Once you’ve signed in to your Appointlet account, click on the ‘Services’ tab in the sidebar and create a new service. On the right side of the page you can set up your appointment descriptions, pricing, rescheduling options and notification settings. The above screenshot is how it might look if you were setting up a service for a free, 30-minute initial business consultation.
- Step 2: Once you’ve set up your service, you can move to the ‘Staff Members’ section. Here you can connect your Google Calendar to your Appointlet account and choose which calendars will be used for bookings.
- Step 3: Still within the ‘Staff Members’ section, you can schedule your work hours and scheduling availability. Appointlet also allows you to link specific services with separate schedules. This can be useful if you offer several services on different days of the week.
- Step 4: Finally, set up the ‘Form Fields’, deciding which information is most useful from your customers. You can also choose advanced options below, which can be useful for associating different fields with different services.
- Step 5: Once you’ve completed all the information for your service, you can click on the top of the sidebar to ‘Test’ and ‘Share’. ‘Test’ will show you a pop-up of your availability, which your customer sees. The ‘Share’ section, seen above, is where you can find the URL and embed options to share your scheduler.
You can try out our demo appointment scheduling service here. Feel free to book a demo appointment:
Compared to other scheduling services, Appointlet’s pricing is quite competitive, especially for use with more than one staff member. Looking at another popular scheduling service, ScheduleOnce, they offer prices based per month/per person. This may work well if you need a very simple booking page for one staff member, but for all the flexibility you get with Appointlet, their $45p/m plan could cost up to $100p/m on ScheduleOnce.
- Easy to use
- Many customisation options, depending on the pricing level
- Google Calendar integration works well, and also adds an extra level by editing appointments directly from your Google Calendar
- Choose from either automatic scheduling or manual confirmation
- Automated reminders to customers and payment collection options
- You can enable clients to cancel meetings themselves.
- Businesses that work internationally benefit from the fact that customers, worldwide, can book appointments 24/7 without any time zone clashes
- Appointlet comes in several languages
- Different levels of customer care available depending on the pricing level
- There is no Outlook Calendar integration (but this has been promised soon)
- When there are no appointments available, what the customer sees can be a little confusing. A blank screen shows up instead of a note to say that there are no times available. See below for an example image
Appointlet is an easy-to-use scheduling tool that will make life a lot easier for many businesses, and with enough customization options to satisfy even the most complicated of workplaces. We have used it ourselves for more than a year and are very pleased with the comfort it provides.